Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Is your toddler climbing out of the crib?

Is your toddler climbing out of the crib?  Is he losing sleep and up all nap-time or all night, forcing you to keep bringing him back to bed? Are you thinking of transitioning to a bed instead?

Hold that thought!

The important question is: Is he still younger than 2.5 years?  There is a level of cognitive development needed to comprehend more complex concepts like..."Stay In Bed!"  Most children under 2.5 aren't quite there yet, and so moving them to a toddler bed starts a whole new onslaught of problem with your child getting out of bed and coming to you in the night, or worse yet, wandering around the house in the middle of the night while you are sleeping.

First, try these tips borrowed from some very creative Moms trying to keep their toddlers from climbing out of their cribs.  This is assuming you have already put the mattress on the lowest setting.

1. Dress them in a PJ night shirt that goes all the way to their feet.  This can help prevent them from getting that all-important leg up.

2. Put them in a sleep sack.  That also can help prevent them from getting a leg up.  Some mom's have sewn the bottom to be a little more narrow for added effect.  And yes, they do make sleep sacks in toddler sizes!

3. Sew the legs together of their sleeper.  This makes it extremely hard to get that leg up.

4. Drop the bottom out of your crib altogether to make the rail higher. Fill in the bottom with boards.  Make it secure with screws.  Be sure it is solid and Safe. Don't be afraid to hire a professional carpenter for help with this tip.  I found a blog post about creating a dropped mattress crib modification here.

Or add a piece to the top if that's easier. Here is what another creative family did.

If you are determined to take him from the crib and use a bed instead, and if he continues to get up in the night, you can try a gentle sleep plan.  That still may not give you 100% success of keeping him in bed all night if he just isn't ready.  Putting a tall gate at the door and clearing the room of climbable furniture and distracting toys would be like turning the whole room into one big crib and there, they would be safe all night.

If you have forgone the crib all together and are sleeping on a floor mattress with your child, that works too.

Everyone needs sleep to be healthy and productive.

Tracy Spackman is a gentle sleep coach living in Phoenix, Arizona and she is helping families get better sleep all over the world.  To set up a consultation, go to www.GetQuietNights.com.

Tracy Spackman

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